On Friday 8 November 2013 at Stoke Crown Court Bernard Thorogood and Rex Tedd QC  prosecuted Abele View Limited, which Company’s safety errors led to a 91 year old woman freezing to death.

On 29 January 2009, Hilda Fairweather was found frozen to death in the grounds of the care home owned by the company.  Hilda was last seen by staff at about 7.30pm and was next seen  at 7.45am the next morning. Bernard Thorogood outlined the series of failures  by the care home including the fact that no checks were done, which would have alerted staff to her disappearance. The prosecution case was that there was poor supervision and management. Only two members of staff were on duty to look after its 29 vulnerable residents, one being only a trainee. The care home had failed to ensure the safety of its residents over time in a number of ways.

The Judge imposed fines totalling £133,000 and an order to pay costs in the sum of £122,412. Upon passing the sentence, Judge Fletcher said: “It’s clear that this was not just a failure of the staff present on the night. The defendant company fell very short of the applicable standard of care in terms of safety procedures.”

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